Disruption in the classroom: When hands on becomes hands off

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Heath, Samantha
Perry, Amanda
Kabbar, Eltahir
Palfreyman, Sue
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Conference Contribution - Oral Presentation
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Auckland (N.Z.)
New Zealand
Unitec courses
online teaching
online learning
COVID-19 Pandemic, 2020-
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Heath, S., Perry, A., Kabbar, E., & Palfreyman, S. (2022, July 1). Disruption in the classroom: When hands on becomes hands off. [Paper presentation]. Te Mananwa Reka Curisoity Symposium, Toi-Ohomai Institute of Technology, Rotorua, New Zealand
New Zealand’s lockdown response during the COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted the vocational education sector. Teachers were required to make a rapid transition from familiar, face-to-face teaching and learning to online, remote delivery. Later defined as a unique subtype of online learning, emergency transition to remote teaching (ERT) was the most extraordinary, unplanned change ever seen in vocational education. The purpose of this paper is to present selected results from a descriptive survey of teachers across five disciplines following New Zealand’s first lockdown in 2020 (n = 56). As part of the study, teachers were asked to share their view of the strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and benefits of ERT and the future of vocational education. Qualitative analysis of free-text responses was made using Braun and Clarke’s (2006) general inductive approach. Four themes emerged: accessibility, sustainability, flexibility and capability. In this presentation, the teacher responses will be set within the themes identified and used to tell the story of disruption and how teacher innovation and creativity forged adaptations necessary to accommodate the emergency. This ‘once in a career’ opportunity provided prolonged exposure to ERT delivery and with it, vocational education sector teachers made use of the opportunity to explore ideas which could be used to shape and inform more permanent formats in future course delivery. From these teacher observations, recommendations for education and service providers, facilities and policy makers will be made.
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